The Dev Channel of Chrome OS is now up to version 76, bringing a simple flag to enable GPU hardware acceleration in Linux. Here’s a video of Portal in Steam on the Pixel Slate, with and without GPU acceleration.
Currently enabled with a command line option, GPU hardware acceleration for Linux on Chromebooks is getting a flag setting in Chrome OS 76, making it easier for GPU support in Linux.
Chrome OS 74 has launched on the Stable Channel with a list of 8 key changes. As is often the case, there’s more in here than the “official” list, such as Crostini backup and restore for Linux containers on Chromebooks.
Add another four devices to get GPU acceleration for Linux apps: A code change will bring it to the latest Chromeboxes, enabling light gaming functionality for Project Crostini.
The Pixelbook and four other fairly new Chromebooks have the special flag to enable GPU acceleration, making these the first to get the new feature for Linux. This should bring the Android emulator and improved gaming capabilities to Project Crostini.
A new command to enable GPU acceleration in Project Crostini was added to the Chrome OS code base, although it doesn’t yet work. Once it does, you should be able to test the feature in Linux on your Chromebook.
It appears that GPU hardware acceleration is now in the works for Chromebooks running Linux apps in a container as code indicates support for the Virgil3D project. Heavy duty graphics apps and games for Linux will benefit.